Building On My Budget: Dead Like Red

Join Ben as he takes his latest budget Standard deck for a spin on Magic Online!


Hello everyone and welcome back to Building On My Budget! This week I’m playing an aggressive red deck that I built for fewer than 25 tickets. But before we get to the deck, let me address my horrible deviant behavior online.

I hate using non-gender-specific pronouns (they, my opponent) when referring to people I played Magic against. However, I don’t want to offend anyone I play against on Magic Online by assuming they are male; I ran into this problem several times in my previous series. So to combat this problem, I’ve had to resort to the lowest of low Internet behavior:

"GL, HF! By the way, for my article, are you M or F?"

Hey kids! It’s time to go back to the old Prodigy/AOL days!


Okay, so here’s the assignment for all you fans of BOMB this week: come up with a less awkward way for me to ask the gender that my opponents would like to be referred to in the article. The winner of this contest will be the savior of this column because I’m pretty sure that eventually Chris Hanson is going to have me arrested in the Casual Play room.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the deck:

As usual, a quick price breakdown:






Total Cost: 24.8 Tickets

After four articles of playing control decks, it’s time to be the beatdown!  I took a look at all of the red cards in Standard and put together a suite of the most efficient creature and burn spells in the format. I also wanted to try out the interaction of Young Pyromancer + Purphoros, God of the Forge (with twelve instant spells). Most Young Pyromancer decks I’ve seen are super focused on instant/sorcery spells, but I just want a two-power two-drop to work with Burning-Tree Emissary.

Game 1: Patinhofeio, B/R Control

I won the die roll and also cast the first spells of the game: double Burning-Tree Emissary and a Young Pyromancer. All three died to burn spells, a Shock and double Lightning Strike. My third turn was a Hammer of Purphoros. Patinhofeio couldn’t deal with a barrage of 3/3 hasty Golems, and they singlehandedly ran them over for the win.

Record: 1-0

Game 2: Elffurt, Bant

My first play was a Burning-Tree into Young Pyromancer followed by Hammer of Purphoros and then BAM! Purphoros, God of the Forge himself. Elffurt had a Fleecemane Lion and Courser of Kruphix, but I ran Elffurt over with my 6/5 hasty indestructible guy and Golem tokens.

Record: 2-0

After the first two games, I wanted to A/S/L Hammer of Purphoros. Making a nigh-inexhaustible supply of 3/3 hasty Golems is just amazing. Allowing my other creatures to get hasty in addition to the Golems is just a bowl of pudding in my lactose-intolerant innards.

Game 3: GodShapedBullet, U/G Evolve

One of the problems of living in a format with three-mana countermagic is you can lose to an opponent who can get a threat down before you get to three mana. For the third game in a row, Hammer of Purphoros carried me. GodShapedBullet countered a couple of my later threats, but an army of 3/3 Golems is all I needed to reduce them from twenty to zero.

Record: 3-0

Game 4: suicidegod, U/G Control

We went back and forth for most of the game, him and me. He and I. The two of us men. Us men pals since now I can say men because I asked suicidegod "are you M or F" and the answer was "yes". Okay, maybe it’s not clear if suicidegod is a man or a woman or something else. I’m not going to make assumptions, except when I assume. And I’m assuming by this point you want a relevant game entry.

Hammer of Purphoros > countermagic and control.

Record: 4-0

I was only halfway through my playtesting for the week, and Hammer of Purphoros was already my MVP. This card does so many things:

If I could play 32 of this card in my deck, I totally wouldn’t because it’s legendary and then I’d have a deck with 28 lands and 32 Hammers and would lose. However, if I could recommend only one weapon of a God for you to build a deck around, that weapon would be Hammer of Purphoros (M).


Young Pyromancer Young Pyromancer Young Pyromancer Young Pyromancer


Gore-House Chainwalker Gore-House Chainwalker Gore-House Chainwalker Gore-House Chainwalker

I made these changes because in four games (many of which went several turns due to Golem attrition) I never once was able to make even a single 1/1 creature with Young Pyromancer. I’d rather just have a creature that is slightly beefier and can play off of Burning-Tree Shaman in my deck.

Game 5: TheLargeFry, U/W Mill

TheLargeFry led with Codex Shredder. I kept a one-land hand with Rakdos Cackler, Burning-Tree Emissary, Magma Jet, and Hammer of Purphoros. I drew my second Mountain on my first draw step, allowing me to curve Cackler into Emissary and Jet. Unfortunately, Magma Jet revealed no lands (to the bottom the cards went!). Fortunately, I beat TheLargeFry down to eight life with my two 2/2 creatures. When I finally did get my third land, I was able to drop Hammer of Purphoros and use a Golem to seal the game in two turns.

Record: 5-0

Game 6: treaming, W/G Aggro

Treaming’s first few plays were double Manaweft Sliver, Elvish Mystic, Voyaging Satyr, and Hopeful Eidolon. Thankfully, my first two plays were Rakdos Cackler and Burning-Tree Emissary. I was able to use burn plus my creatures to beat treaming down to six life. They cast Plea for Guidance to get Collective Blessing and another Hopeful Eidolon, but I dropped Hammer of Purphoros, added a 3/3 hasty creature to my arsenal, and used Lightning Strike to win the game before Collective Blessing could hit the board.

Record: 6-0

Game 7: gsol69, B/R Control

I got a turn 1 Rakdos Cackler. Gsol69 Thoughtseized me and took out a Burning-Tree Emissary. I then dropped two copies of Gore-Clan Chainwalker. I lost one of my three creatures to Devour Flesh (I was at 22!), and I also lost a Lightning Strike to a second Thoughtseize. Ratchet Bomb hit the board a turn late for my hapless opponent, as I kept on the onslaught with Fanatic of Mogis and got my first non Hammer of Purphoros win of this playtest session.

Record: 7-0

Game 8: Mosdefknightz, U/G Evolve

Mosdefknightz got Cloudfin Raptor followed by Sylvan Caryatid and then Master Biomancer. For my part, I played Rakdos Cackler and Gore-Clan Chainwalker and had burn in my hand. I was able to get them down to twelve life (with double burn spells in my hand) when they played Master of Waves with three devotion to blue. I was unable to punch past a wall of four 4/3 creatures (one of which had protection from red) and got run over the next turn. Boo hiss Master of Waves!

Record: 7-1

All in all, this deck was a blast to play. I tend to play decks that are a lot more Johnny or controlling in nature, but it was nice to be the beatdown for a change. Hammer of Purphoros was my MVP in six of the seven games I won, and it’s a card I’m surprised doesn’t see more love in competitive Standard play.

No matter if you’re M, F, or CLCWFCH (Cthulhu-like creature with four-chambered heart), tune in next week when I pay homage to my favorite holiday of the year—April Fool’s Day—on April 3rd! It’ll be a blast.

P.S. Please come up with a better way for me to ask my opponent’s gender during my matches. I totally feel like the Creeper King right now, and this must stop!

P.P.S. Alternately, tell Cedric that I should refer to everyone as he and then have Cedric take the flack when I inevitably play a non-he player in one of my matches.

P.P.P.S. Unless Cedric edits out the above P.P.S., in which case this P.P.P.S. will make no sense. Root toot toot, see you next week!